Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lofty Goals

Cael and I have spent a great deal of time lately discussing the future.  Nothing heavy, of course, no predictions for the presidential election or solutions for lowering gas prices.  Instead, he's shared with me the details as he considers the path his life might take, and I've struggled to find the right words of support.

Like his career, for example.  At four years old, his understanding of "work" is limited to getting up in the morning, donning a tie, and coming home after dark and eating a bowl of ice cream in front of the television. 

So when I asked him what he wanted to do-- to be, he had to give it some serious thought.

"A guy that drives a big semi."

"A truck driver?"

"Yeah, that would be so, so cool!"

Perhaps not the occupation I would have chosen for my son.  I was expecting something more like "a baseball player" or "a fireman" or even "teach music, like Daddy!"  But as all good parents are instructed to do, I tell him that he can be whatever he wants.  And if a lifetime behind the wheel with a John Deere cap and AM radio is what he wants for his life, so be it.

"Maybe I'll be a 'struction guy."

"A construction worker?" 

"Yeah.  I could break up stuff."

"You are really strong, but I think you could do so much more."

See, that wasn't very supportive.  

"I could cook food instead."

That was more like it.  Hearing him suggest a future with the career I'd most love for myself, I had to smile.

"You want to be a chef?"

"I want to be a cook.  I want to make burgers and fries."

It's at about this time when I start debating the merit of telling your child to choose their own destiny.  I picture a future where we move to an obscure country in Europe where I can choose the path he'll take on his behalf, even selecting the woman he'll marry so as to avoid the realistic potential future in which he spends his life alone, watching episodes of Caillou and assembling model trains.

"There are so many neat jobs and things to do, and I'm sure you'll figure out what's right for you when you're older."

There, I finally found the right words. 
But tell me-- is there ever an appropriate response for when your four-year-old tells you he hopes he grows up to have a pee-pee as big as a horse?


  1. Ahaa haaa haaa!!!! No, there is not an appropriate response for that!!

  2. Mary, I am dying! one reason that I should not read your blog while at work: I often times burst out laughing!

    1. Haha, I'm glad you liked it! I struggled to find a way to share that bit without making it too creepy!


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.